Financial News

Which retail companies have reported the most successful year-over-year growth? How much did company X spend on its latest expansion? In the Retail TouchPoints Financial News section, industry insiders can find out what their peers are spending and how they are faring in the marketplace. This information can be useful for future implementation strategies, real estate ventures and growth opportunities.

SoftBank Makes $3.5 Billion Bet On Fanatics, Flipkart

SoftBank Group is investing a combined $3.5 billion in Indian e-Commerce company Flipkart and sports apparel and merchandise retailer Fanatics. Nearly $2.5 billion of that investment will go to Flipkart, with SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son becoming the company’s biggest shareholder, the companies announced in a statement. SoftBank’s investment is massive, particularly considering the company apparently took a $1.4 billion loss on investments in its most recent fiscal year, largely from its $627 million funding of Indian e-Commerce marketplace Snapdeal. But this move shows the Japanese tech giant is more than willing to back e-Commerce retailers it deems fit enough to compete with Amazon.

Q2 Roundup: Nordstrom Bucks Downward Trend, Wayfair Shoppers Jump 43%

In recent years, quarterly results for department stores and luxury retailers have often painted a picture of “doom and gloom.” Declining sales and traffic have forced these brands to close unprofitable stores, minimize inventory and resort to promotions and markdowns. There is a small silver lining, however. Wall Street appears to have adjusted to this new reality, tempering its expectations of what constitutes a successful quarter.

Vyze Raises $13.1 Million In VC Funding

Vyze has raised $13.1 million in venture capital financing in order to accelerate growth and fuel product innovation and expansion. The Series C round is led by Austin Ventures, with additional investment from Fathom Capital and Starvest Partners. Ken DeAngelis, General Partner at Austin Ventures, has joined the Vyze board of directors. Vyze’s cloud-based, multi-lender platform connects consumers with additional credit options at checkout. During the past year, the company has more than doubled its retail client base and forged new partnerships with lenders. The program is live in more than 2,000 stores throughout the U.S. in addition to e-Commerce sites and call centers.

‘Financially Confident’ Parents Drive 3.7%-4.1% BTS Spending Increase

  • Published in News Briefs
While back-to-school spending projections range between $27 billion to $29.5 billion, Synchrony Financial anticipates seasonal sales will increase anywhere between 3.7% and 4.1%. The financial services company expects parents of K-12 students in particular to drive this spending increase: 63% of K-12 parents say they are feeling confident about their…

Evergage Raises $10 Million In Series C Funding

Evergage, a real-time personalization platform, has secured $10 million in Series C funding led by Arrowroot Capital, which also led the company’s Series B round in early 2016. Additional investors include G20 Ventures and PJC. The new financial round brings total funding for Evergage to $31.5 million.

U.S. Online Retail Sales Growing 14% In 2017

  • Published in E-Commerce
U.S. online sales are expected to reach more than $459 billion in 2017, rising 14% from last year and accounting for 12.9% of the anticipated $3.56 trillion in total retail sales, according to Forrester Research. Total retail sales (both online and offline) are projected to grow by $129 billion over 2016. By 2022, online will account for 17% of all retail sales, according to the Forrester report. One cause of the spending growth is the increased confidence level of the American shopper. In June 2017, 54% of U.S. consumers were confident or very confident in the chances for a strong economy — up from 46.3% a year earlier.

Sugarfina Scoops Up $35 Million To Expand Retail Business Globally

Sugarfina, a luxury confections brand, has closed $35 million in growth equity financing from private equity firm Great Hill Partners. The recent round brings the company’s total funding to more than $50 million. The funds will be used to continue scaling the omnichannel brand across online, mobile, brick-and-mortar, wholesale and corporate gifting channels as well as to expand internationally to the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Sugarfina currently operates in the U.S. and Canada and will begin its overseas expansion in early 2018.

Pay-Over-Time Technology Startup Bread Raises $126 Million

Bread, a consumer purchase finance technology company that builds customizable pay-over-time solutions for online merchants, has closed $126 million of equity and debt financing.   The Bread platform is designed to encourage consumers to finance major purchases with a loan at lower interest rates and with predictable monthly payments, as opposed to making that same purchase with a credit card. With Bread solutions, merchants can tailor different payment plans and different experiences to their own product set. 

Namogoo Raises $8 Million To Combat E-Commerce ‘Journey Hijacking’

Namogoo has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round. The investment will be used primarily to open the company’s U.S. headquarters in Boston and to accelerate growth in the U.S. market through product development and marketing. GreatPoint Ventures led the financing, with Blumberg Capital and Inimiti Capital also participating in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $14 million.

Branch Messenger Raises $10 Million+ To Drive Partnerships

Branch Messenger, Inc., an employee self-service platform, has raised more than $10 million in funding, including a $6.8 million Series A funding round led by March Capital Partners. Branch will use the funds to drive enterprise partnerships and expand the base of shift workers worldwide who are using its platform.

AI-Driven Fulfillment Solution Receives $6 Million VC Boost

CommonSense Robotics, which combines robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to support on-demand fulfillment solutions, has raised $6 million in seed funding from Aleph VC and Innovation Endeavors. The company is using the funds to expand its team, drive new product development and build out operations toward its initial deployments. The company creates micro-fulfillment centers that are designed to combine the benefits of local and automated fulfillment and maximize the use of retail space while enabling faster fulfillment and delivery of goods to consumers.

Retailers Rejoice As Border Adjustment Tax Plan Falls Through

Many within the retail industry are breathing huge sighs of relief at the news that the proposed border adjustment tax (BAT) has been cut from the House Republican-led tax reform plan. House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady initially devised the “Better Way” plan…

Starbucks Doubles Down On China Expansion, Buys Out 1,300 Stores For $1.3B

Starbucks is buying out the remaining 50% share of its East China business from its joint venture partners for approximately $1.3 billion, marking the company’s biggest-ever acquisition and giving it 100% ownership of nearly 1,300 stores in the region. The acquisition aligns with the coffee giant’s target of operating 5,000 stores in China by 2021. The move coincides with the retailer’s Q3 earnings announcement, which reported: $5.66 billion in revenue, an 8% increase; $0.47 in adjusted earnings per share, down 8.9%; and Its highest U.S. same-store sales increase (5%) in five quarters.
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